Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Order of the camps Numbers 2

Numbers 2:2 "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch."

We have learned from this verse that each family had a standard or flag of some sort that distinguished them from each other. Held high it would guide a wayward member back to their family. It was a great honor in the military to carry the company flag. There was no doubt which company did good or bad. There was great pride in that flag.

The families were to have a particular place around the tabernacle. The Levites held the immediate spot around it then here in chapter 2 it gives the position of the other families.

Judah - v3 on the east side
Issachar - next to Judah
Zebulun- next after Issachar

v9 These shall be first set forth.

Reuben - southside
Simeon next to him
Gad-next to Simeon

Ephraim - Westside
Manasseh -beside Ephraim
Benjamin - next to Manasseh

Dan - Northside
Asher -next to Dan
Naphtali -next to Asher

Even without listing the Levites, I came up with twelve groups divided into four groups of three.
I'll have to check the son's names to see how that works out.

I don't know how much shuffling of tents this organization caused but I expect moving the tribes to a particular spot around the tabernacle caused a lot of moving. It must have looked like a bunch of ants from high atop a mountain.

Nothing is left to self-will here. The Lord even picked who was to command each group.

Now, can you picture the tabernacle with its glow at night and all the children of Israel camped round about. There are some campfires spread out but the glow is stronger as you go toward the center and the tabernacle. I can imagine the appearance of a giant wheel with the tabernacle as the center and right in the middle the Lord himself is the source of power.

What a sight it must have been!

Psalm 8:1 "O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens."

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